KCOY lays off 13 people

January 5, 2012

Jim Byrne


UPDATE: KCOY laid off meteorologist Jim Byrne and 12 others on Wednesday.

KCOY parent company Cowles California Media Company is consolidating in order to cut costs, inside sources said. Many news staffers will be replaced with its Salinas news team which will cover both Salinas and the Central Coast. The media  group has eliminated local sports. The morning news will be live from Santa Maria and the evening news will be anchored in Salinas.

Here is who was let go:

1. Jim Byrne
2. Kevin Roose, weekend sports
3. Crystal Guerrero, producer
4. Tom Murphy, director for more than 26 years
5. Mike Curto, director for more than 20 years
6. Tom Jones, assignment editor and web producer
7. Jerry Hartzell, photographer
8. Carl Gescheider, photographer
9. Dena Peneranda, office staffer
10. Aaron Meloncon, photographer
11. Kenneth Johnson, commercial production
12. Jordan Montgomery, promotions

Arturo Santiago is going to be a reporter.

Former KCOY news director John Zuchelli put out the following statement on behalf of his family:

“KCOY was founded in 1964 by my father Ed Zuchelli and several other residents of the Santa Maria Valley. They built the TV station to serve the community of Santa Maria. I hope that will continue to happen. The entire Zuchelli family is praying for the people who have lost their jobs.”

Dozens of Facebook posts report that Central Coast News managers gave the ax to sportscasters, producers, photographers and the “weather guy.” In the posts, former employees ask about future jobs and locals note their dismay.

“These people who were let go are many who have been long-term employees who are very talented,” Anna Scott said in a Facebook post. “The sad part is they stayed in this market because they love living here. Now to get a good job, they’ll have to leave. So sorry to hear this.”

KCOY management staff did not return requests for comment. Numerous calls to Cowles California Media Company were met with a busy signal.


Verizon rescinded their proposed $2 fee & Bank of America ditched their $5 monthly fee after enough consumers complained…Corporations listen, at least sometimes.

Maybe–I know it’s a long shot–if enough of us politely contact KCOY 805-925-1200, they’ll change their mind and at least keep Jim Byrne. I don’t know him personally but I’ve watched him for years. He seems like a nice, humble, competent meterologist and it would be a shame to see him leave the Central Coast.


Gee, if KCOY goes belly-up, where am I going to get my daily dose of local fear-based TV news reporting? SInce digital, I can’t receive KSBY. Already miss the tag-team fear team of Arturo & Katie. Grim & Grimmer.

Might have to do more online reading . . .


Have you ever really looked closely at the all the little buttons at their website?


Russ, you are trying to educate really stupid people.

Armirable, but futile.

Most of the posters here are DUMASSES, and I’m not saying Alexandre !

Fear based Fascists abound here at CCN .

You KNOW who they are !


“They built the TV station to serve the community of Santa Maria”.

This explains why the evening news will now be anchored out of Salinas. Bad move, KCOY.


Looks like Katie Marzullo (sp) sure made the right move.


That’s really too bad. In the last six months, KCOY has been better than KSBY. Hire them back and keep up the good work, the viewers will catch on. KCOY quit before the dawn in my opinion.


So true, Cindy. KSBY’s spray-tanned Ken & Barbie team are too annoying to watch and their newscasts are consistently filled with fluff, not actual news.


What about Dave Hovde? Annoying as they come!


He’s like a little elf but I like him.


Jeannette Trumpeter seriously needs to change her hair color. It really isn’t becoming.


I don’t care for her,, well I don’t know her personally but they made a mistake bringing her back.


i miss rick martel


Have you seen Rick singing karaoke Sinatra & oldies on his local access TV show? It’s a hoot. You can’t help but laugh…not in a mean way but it’s just kinda cool to watch him get into the songs. He’s like the Energizer Bunny who keeps going…and going…

Ted Slanders

These people who were given the boot from KCOY have nothing to worry about, remember? The “one-percenters” are the job creators since the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with the “Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act” of 2001, and the “Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act” of 2003!

Therefore, they’ll easily find a job within San Luis Obispo County. How soon all of you forget!

Poor Ana Scott, I am so sorry for your grief towards this group that has lost their positions at KCOY as so many others have since the Bankster and Wall Street debacle. Hey, look upon the bright side of it! These KCOY employees lasted longer than many that have gone bankrupt, lost their homes, and are on their last weeks of unemployment because of losing their jobs years ago for said reasons shown!

I just wish those “one-percenter” job creators would hurry up and make more jobs for our society instead of sitting upon TRILLIONS in cash reserves. We can only pray that they take notice.


No…. Just a dying business model “local broadcast TV”. But thanks for the rant.


What a hoot ! “Dying business model”, as if NEWS, WEATHER and SPORTS ( especially of a local market variety ) will just now dissappear.

NO, the “dying business model” is the corrupt gangster capitalism which is now the only form of capitalism practiced in the dead democracy and zombie-like Empire that is now the United States. It is the ‘disaster economics’ of “Shock Doctrine” author Naomi Kline sounded warning of. It is a lack of advertising revenues, resulting from a sustained downturn that many people are fooling themselves into calling a ‘recession’.

It used to be LAW that TV stations were required to have a certain number of hours dedicated to news of local and broader import as conditions of their license.

But, I guess it does not matter much, as so much of the American populace is content to be narcotized by info-tainment…bread and circuses, without the bread !


Slowerfaster, I have an aunt and 2 cousins in a former Soviet Eastern European country who have tried for THREE YEARS to legally emigrate here. [The paperwork is a nightmare.] They and millions like them crave freedom and opportunity. Despite our many problems, the USA is still the safest and freest country on earth.

So if you truly believe your own words “dead democracy and zombie-like Empire that is now the United States…” PLEASE leave now and make room for my aunt and 2 cousins.

I respect your right to hate our nation but I do not understand why dissenters like you don’t just pack up and move to Cuba or China or North Korea…wherever your communist dream is alive and well.



You HATE real democracy !

The regimes you state would be PERFECT with your authoritarian mindset.

I know a FASCIST, and YOU are one !

You don’t respect ANYTHING, except your own warped opinion, so don’t lie. Or go ahead, I got your number !

BTW, your relatives would be welcome here by me.

It is your FASCIST cohorts that are blocking them as “illegal aliens”.

Let YOUR relatives come to America, and then YOU can go to some libertarian utopia like Somalia !


It’s all about the big corp making more record profits while driving down quality. We are seeing the quality of the news going down the toilet as to cut cost all to make more profits for the executives. News is becoming like Walmart, cheap crap. I’m only surprised that they haven’t taken the news off shore to broadcast from China or India.

I read an article today that said that the small businesses are becoming the job creators now. Small businesses are hiring at a faster rate than ever before. I guess it’s up to us, the middle class to get the country back in order as we can’t expect the top 1 or 2 percenters to help. Greedy pigs, they are destroying lives every day and they don’t care as long as they are raking in the dough.


As a south county resident I have always preferred KCOY over KSBY because KCOY consistently has better coverage of the south county particularly the 5 Cities area. I’d like to know the whole story before I switch over to KSBY as my primary TV news source.

It is very sad to hear this news. I hope there is a workable solution out there for the KCOY team that has lost their jobs.


Sad story…………………


BTW, the GM of that station drives a Maserati with his name on the plate… Pretty douchey.


Did Tony Cippola take all the money?